Trainer Gary Messenger is again having a good year at Monticello Raceway. Yesterday alone, he harnessed four winners and he is keeping the pressure on Danny Gill and Bob Lounsbury. Now with 66 winners Messenger vaulted ahead of Lounsbury’s 63 and now trails Gill be just two victories.
It didn’t seem to matter if it was Jimmy Taggart, Jr. or Zeke Parker who drove for Messenger, both gentlemen won for him; Taggart drove three winners and Parker drove one.
It was bound to happen, especially when a horse a reigns supreme in a claiming class. But yesterday (June 16) at Monticello Raceway it was sort of a double whammy for Diamond Tiara, the harness horse currently with the most wins in North America. Not only did she taste defeat after nine consecutive victories but she went home to a new barn after being claimed for $9,000 from Philip Schultz by local trainer, Al Annunziata.
It took a tough trip to defeat the 7-year-old McArdle pacing mare whose 14 seasonal wins are tops this year.
Quietly, and without much fanfare, Rose Run Nash keeps winning. At Monticello Raceway on Wednesday afternoon (June 11) the 9-year-old altered son of Trainforthefuture Was victorious in 2:01 which was his 11th seasonal victory and it ties him for the lead in races won by a trotter this year in North America.
With Jimmy Marohn, Jr. at the controls, he sent the big-gaited gelding to the lead from the four-hole but they didn’t take command until they neared the quarter which was trotted in 30 seconds.
New York-bred filly pacers were on display on Friday afternoon, June 6 at Monticello Raceway with four New York Stakes and four Excelsior Series events all for sophomore pacing fillies. The queen of the card turned out to be Spreester when the daughter of American Ideal toured the double oval in a half-mile lifetime best of 1:54.1 to win her $29,850 split.
Monticello Raceway’s New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) season will kick-off on Friday, June 6 when the 3 year-old pacing fillies come to town. The races will be the second stop for the sophomores en route to the $225,000 Final at Yonkers Raceway in September.
On tap are four divisions of Sire Stakes fillies, each for approximately $30,000- and two $12,500 splits of Excelsior “A” events along with two $6000 splits of Excelsior “B” events.
In the immortal words of Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra it’s deja vu all over again here at the Mighty M. Just like last season when a pacing mare topped the North American leaderboard again this year another pacing mare leads all other Standardbreds in races won thus far this year.
In spite of a five- week layoff the beat goes on for Diamond Tiara. On the sunny afternoon of May 27 at Monticello Raceway the 7 year old pacing mare notched her 12th seasonal victory with a gate to wire performance in 1:58.1 which has once more placed her atop the North American leaderboard in races won this year.
Jimmy Taggart Jr. was again in the sulky for trainer Mike Watson as the daughter of McArdle notched her ninth consecutive victory.
He came from top stock and arguably he could have been greater than he is, still Reflection of Blue has become a very useful pacer.
Purchased a few years ago by Tony Mazzeo and currently under the tutelage of trainer Billy Devine, Reflection of Blue, although not living up to the prowess of his dam, Rainbow Blue nor his younger half-sister Somwherovrarainbow, still the 6-year-old altered son of Bettor’s Delight is having his best season since he was a 3-year-old.
Monticello Raceway will continue with its 4 day-a-week racing schedule throughout the month of June with just one exception.
On Friday, June 6th, the Mighty M has added a racing program to accommodate races for 3-year-old pacing fillies in both the New York Sires Stakes and the Excelsior Series. That addition will be the only deviation from the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday schedule during June.